SAIF Meeting on January 17th 2013
Med explained how he learnt about the faith of Islam within his family before he went to school. His mother did not read or write, since her father had reckoned that education was not necessary or appropriate for girls. She would, nevertheless, have known much of the Qur’an by heart, and Med learnt from her that Islam was a faith of peace and goodness, in which you tried to treat others as you would want them to treat you.
He went on to tell us of the five pillars of Islam: the confession that there is only one God and Muhammad is his apostle; prayer five times a day at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, dusk and bed-time; fasting during the month of Ramadhan (which has no fixed place in our calendar because the Muslim lunar year is ten days shorter than the solar year); pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime for those who can afford it, as some two million do each year; and charitable giving of 2.5% of disposable income. He emphasized that there is no compulsion for this, and no set recipients. It is up to each person to judge who is in greatest need, and to give accordingly. Just as the five-times daily prayer signifies that all time belongs to God, so the 2.5% giving is a sign that all our possessions belong to God. Med also told us about the two great festivals or eids of the Muslim year, the eid at the end of Ramadhan, and the eid commemorating the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son at God’s command.